CLEVELAND — The images still anger Steven Piskor.
Even eight years later.
She was his mother, after all.
"It was devastating,” he said. “Even to this day, my family can't look at the video."
Seeing his frail mother’s body flung into bed. Her face poked with a disrespecting finger.
Assaulted by health professionals Piskor trusted. “Every time I look at them, I get more mad,” he said.
“Them” represent the video images Piskor captured in 2011, when he
placed a hidden camera in his mother’s room inside a nursing home run by
MetroHealth Medical Center.
He placed them there on a hunch. The unexplained bruises. Her quiet moods.
began seeing changes in my mom,” he recalled. “By then, I knew
something was happening…When I put the camera on, I found abuse in the
first two days. But I didn’t know how it was going to be handled.”
video sent shockwaves through the community. Two aides were indicted
and later jailed. Three were fired, and three others were disciplined.
But then, nothing.
mother, Esther “Mitzi” Piskor, died last year at the age of 85. Her son
is intent on ensuring her legacy lives on, and that the trauma she
endured is not forgotten, or allowed to be repeated.
"Yes, I definitely think it's time to pass the law."
talking about “Esther’s Law,” a proposal in the process of being
crafted into a bill by state Sen. Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood. While no
formal bill has yet been crafted, Antontio says the heart of the
proposal would allow families to place a camera in a loved one’s nursing
"Anybody's that's walked the path with their own
parents as they age understand the need for special protection as people
get older," Antonio said. “Not only is it important today, it's going
to be important tomorrow.”
Ten states now have laws dealing with
cameras. Antonio believes Ohio should be modeled after the law recently
enacted in Illinois.
It would require that cameras not be hidden. A
sign would be posted outside the room alerting everyone that a camera
is in use. A consent form would allow for the cameras to be turned off
for various reasons, such as bathing or visits from doctors or clergy.
There are also provisions on roommates and their privacy.
want them to age with dignity, want them to be taken care of safely and
appropriately and I think this will help,” Antonio said.
A similar effort in 2013 never gained enough support and the legislation fizzled.
Ohio Health Care Association, an association of nursing homes and
assisted living facilities in the state, raised some concerns on how the
placement of cameras would blend with existing privacy laws. A
spokesman told Channel 3 News that those same concerns should be
addressed in any new proposal.
To Steve Piskor, he’s aware of
privacy concerns and he believes that the success of similar laws in
other states is proof tjhat “Esther’s Law” is viable. And necessary,
especially as Ohio’s population continues to grow older.
He said he wants “Esther’s Law” to be a symbol for change.
every time that camera goes into a nursing home, that nursing home is
going to know that it was...because they abused my mother.”
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Son pushes for cameras after mother's nursing home abuse